INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Cid/Gallup Poll Shows Growing Support for Cafta-Dr

Published: Wed 19 Oct 2005 08:08 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 002436
SIPDIS
WHA/CEN
EB FOR WCRAFT, BLAMPRON
E FOR DEDWARDS
WHA/EPSC FOR KURS, LGUMBINER
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR RVARGO, NMOORJANI, AMALITO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECPS ECON PREL PGOV SOCI CS
SUBJECT: CID/GALLUP POLL SHOWS GROWING SUPPORT FOR CAFTA-DR
IN COSTA RICA
REF: SAN JOSE 01875
1. Summary. An October 2005 CID/GALLUP poll revealed
increases in the knowledge of and support for the United
States-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA-DR) among Costa Ricans. The poll also
shows that the percentage of respondents who believe CAFTA-
DR will bring benefits to Costa Rica has increased and is a
strong majority. Likewise, the percentage of respondents
who believe that CAFTA-DR will bring little or no benefits
has decreased. End Summary.
2. CID/Gallup conducted a poll by telephone and personal
interviews of 1,221 adults (over 18) from all areas of
Costa Rica between October 7 and 13, 2005. The margin of
error is stated to be plus or minus 2.8 percent with a 95
percent confidence level. The poll revealed that 79
percent of those polled had heard or read at least "a
little" about CAFTA-DR, an increase from 67 percent in
July, 54 percent in May, and 44 percent in February. The
knowledge level of CAFTA-DR was proportional to the
education level achieved by the respondent; 96 percent of
those having at least one year of University-level
education had some knowledge of the agreement, 82 percent
of those completing their high school studies, and 71
percent of those completing primary education.
3. As compared to a similar CID/Gallup poll conducted in
July 2005 (Reftel), the most recent poll results showed
that those who responded that they were "somewhat" or "very
much" in favor of CAFTA-DR increased from 56 percent to 64
percent. Those who responded that they were "somewhat" or
"very much" opposed to the agreement fell from 30 percent
to 26 percent. Since the U.S. approved CAFTA-DR in late
July 2005, this issue has been discussed almost daily in
the local media. Nicaragua's recent ratification of CAFTA-
DR on October 10, 2005 renewed the focus on the CAFTA-DR
issue in Costa Rica. Looking closer into the breakdown of
the responses to this question, 28 percent of respondents
said they were very much in favor of CAFTA-DR (21, 21, and
23 in July, May, and February respectively), 36 percent
somewhat in favor (35, 40, and 33), 13 percent somewhat
opposed (13, 17, and 14), and 13 percent very much opposed
(17, 15, and 16).
4. The poll also asked the following question to those who
said they knew at least "a little" of the agreement:
"Taking everything into account, how much do you think
Costa Rica will benefit from CAFTA-DR?" Responses revealed
that 61 percent think that Costa Rica will benefit "a lot"
or "some," compared to 54 percent in July and 53 percent in
May 2005. Those who think the country would benefit
"little" or "not at all" constituted 25 percent of the
responses, down from 33 percent in July and 39 percent in
May. Those having no response or opinion were 14 percent
of the respondents, up from 12 in July and 9 percent in
May.
5. Comment: The most recent CID/Gallup results show that
support for CAFTA-DR is expressed by a strong majority of
Costa Ricans and is growing. The opposite is true of those
expressing opposition to CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica. These
results are consistent with other recently conducted polls.
The most significant changes over the year have been the
percentage of respondents who said they knew of CAFTA-DR
and believe the agreement will bring at least some benefits
to the country.
FRISBIE
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